PETA uses London sculpture in latest anti-foie gras drive

Animal rights campaigners have said the trade of foie gras is a “huge cock-up”, in their latest attempt to stop the sale of the delicacy in the London store Fortnum & Mason.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used Katharina Fritsch’s 4.72-metre-high sculpture of a blue cockerel, standing on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, to highlight their argument against foie gras.

The sculpture, also known as “the big blue cock”, was used as the backdrop for a giant PETA campaign poster, which read “F&M: Don’t Be a [Up Arrow] – Drop Foie Gras”.

PETA hopes the poster will apply more pressure to Fortnum & Mason, which the campaign group says is virtually the only place selling foie gras in the UK. Associate director of PETA Mimi Bekhechi claimed Fortnum & Mason was being stubborn by insisting on selling the product, which is illegal to produce in Britain and 16 other countries.

“To create foie gras, pipes are shoved down ducks’ and geese’s throats and huge amounts of grain and fat are pumped into their stomachs several times a day,” Bekhechi said. “The birds’ livers become diseased as they swell to up to 10 times their normal size. The pipes often puncture their throats and can cause them to bleed to death. Those who survive are hung upside down and slaughtered.”

According to the charity, most department stores and supermarkets have removed the product from their shelves. They also said it was not served or sold at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the BRIT Awards, Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

It was also claimed that Prince Charles refused to have it on royal menus, while various celebrities, such as actors Sir Roger Moore and Kate Winslet, have teamed up with PETA to speak out against the production of foie gras.


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